Indian spinner Axar Patel picked his best figures in Test cricket (6/38) in only his second match as India bundled England for a mere 112 runs inside the opening two sessions of the third Test at the Motera Stadium on Wednesday, February 24.
After having won the toss, England captain Joe Root had decided to bat first before Ishant Sharma, playing his 100th Test match for India, got the breakthrough in only the third over by dismissing Dom Sibley for a duck. Axar Patel followed suit by getting the better of Jonny Bairstow before Zak Crawley and Root played a 47-run stand to steady the ship. The partnership, however, was broken when Ravichandran Ashwin, who picked 3/26, caught the England captain off guard in an LBW.
England simply had no answers to India's spinning wizardry as they went from 4/80 to 112 all out inside 24 overs. This certainly isn't a first innings score England would fancy, but judging by the pace bowling attack they have in their ranks, things might take a turn for the good.
The opening two sessions, however, was all about Ashwin and a Patel, who picked his second Test five-fer in as many games. Root's men have a lot to play for from this point on but the fans on Twitter went head over heels with the way the Indian spinners skimmed through the English batting lineup. This is how they are reacting to it:
Second five-wicket haul for Axar Patel in 3 innings in Test cricket - dream start to his longer format career.— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) February 24, 2021
#TeamIndia's spinners have rolled England out for just 1️⃣1️⃣2️⃣ runs after being asked to bowl first 🔥— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) February 24, 2021
Axar Patel gets 6️⃣ wickets in his first match at his home ground 💙#INDvENG pic.twitter.com/CmCm3FQaqc
Axar Patel taking six wickets in a pink ball test is like Sean Dyche's mighty Burnley beating Manchester City while playing impressive possession-based football at the Etihad.— Kaustubh Pandey (@Kaus_Pandey17) February 24, 2021
On dry pitches with turn and bounce, Axar Patel is proving to be a lethal bowler. Not just a white ball specialist as was thought.— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) February 24, 2021
#AxarPatel - just EXTRAORDINARY today. Making merry on his home ground with a six-wicket haul in what is just his second test match. Great support from @ashwinravi99 who also picked up 3. Now into the night, batting well will get us halfway to victory! #INDvENG— Siddarth Srinivas (@sidhuwrites) February 24, 2021
Axar Patel Test Career so Far:-— CricketMAN2 (@man4_cricket) February 24, 2021
Excellent start his Test Cricket Career. #INDvENG
AXAR! 6 wicket haul! How brilliant! And he finished with the beautiful clean bowl of Foakes. England all out for 112! 🇮🇳🏴#INDvENG— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) February 24, 2021
Indian players taking ‘Vocal for Local’ a little too seriously. Ashwin in Chennai. Axar in Ahmedabad 🥳🤩 #IndvEng— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 24, 2021
It’s the non spinning deliveries that England haven’t been able to play ... Scars from the 2nd Test me thinks ... England just don’t have enough skilled players in these conditions ... #INDvENG— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) February 24, 2021
You can take a Patel out of the stadium’s name, but you can’t stop a Patel from leading his team off it #INDvENG— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) February 24, 2021
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @BCCI